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long time admirer of 620s wanting to dive in


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#1 guhibo

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 11:15 PM

Hello, I've always wanted a 620 since i've seen my friend's 720 back in the early 2000s. I finally feel like I should get one, but have very little experience in building cars.

 

My plan is to buy a nicely working 620, and just maintain from there. I've been lurking the forums for a bit and haven't really found much info as to how to get started or what things to look for. I did read that it's a great starter project and fairly easy to maintain.

 

I don't plan on going too crazy with mods.

 

If any of you fine folks can point me in the right direction, I'd greatly appreciate it.

 

Also, I'm in the northern los angeles area, and if there is anybody willing to show me the ropes, that'd be even more awesome!

 

Thanks!



#2 datzenmike

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:13 AM

Try to get the most complete example of the 620 you dream of. Even if you have to save up and wait for it. Buying one that doesn't run and needs work is very disappointing. I would suggest a '78 or '79 as these had ball joint steering, disc brakes, internally regulated alternators and electronic ignition. Being in California be sure it has and will pass any future smog testing before buying it. May vehicles are missing equipment that has to be found and replaced.


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#3 G-Duax

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:35 AM

 I finally feel like I should get one, but have very little experience in building cars.

 

Before you throw $$ away, and get in over your head, take some basic auto repair classes at a local vocational school.

Start amassing tools, as nothing screws up a car as much as trying to work on something without having the correct tools to work with.


"All of a sudden it started making noise, then started losing power. I limped the car home and tried to get it up the driveway, the engine just died."

 

Why do people do this?

A $100 tow bill is never as much as the extra damage you cause by trying to "limp the car home".

 

Don't be that person !


#4 datzenmike

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 06:34 AM

Also get a FSM or Factory Service Manual for the year you buy. Try e bay or amazon. It will pay for itself the first time you use it.


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#5 difrangia

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 06:54 AM

Here's ya some reading material to get acquainted with the little 620's internal workings. This is 77 manual so some of the stuff that Mike mentioned that are features of the last couple years are not included.

 

http://nicoclub.com/...un-Pick-Up-1977

 

I acquired our one owner '78 Longbed (believed to be 150K miles and it has all the good stuff that mike listed and 5-speed trany)  five years ago with a bent valve. Replaced the valves and all the small ancillaries on the engine and it is pure sex to drive around town. Kinda like darting around in your favorite pair of britches.

 

That L-Series engine is an amazing little machine.


Better to have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy !!


#6 ]2eDeYe

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:49 AM

Welcome, I see you have great taste :)


Smokin' Joe's House of Datto's

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620 KA24 Motor Mount Swap Brackets

1977 620 KingCab Deluxe KA24DE Swap - Refresh and cleanup
1978 620 kingcab 4x4 - KA24E SAS w/Dana 44 front and Toyota rear

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Whenever I think that I'm out of my mind for putting this much time and money into an old Datsun, all I have to do is look some of your threads to know that I'm not nearly as whack as you are.

You're going to skin a few knuckles, stand up too fast and bump your head, hunt around the floor for the nuts and bolts you dropped, invent a few new cuss words and when you're finished you'll say "That wasn't so hard after all!"


#7 Dolomite

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 11:51 AM

As a fellow Californian, my advice would be to get a non smog year and learn as you go. There’s really nothing very complex about a Datsun, fixing is usually easy. I do agree with getting the nicest possible example you can.
Chrome door handles are under rated.

Link to my build thread
http://community.rat...er-project-510/

#8 racerx

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 03:46 PM

75 and below/\...no smog req. In Calif.

#9 captain720

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 04:54 PM

Just buy a broken one with good body, way more fun that way. :-)

But I guess my definition of fun isn't the same as some other peoples.

1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc with a 1984 Z24 (third engines the charm?) http://community.rat...y-first-pickup/
1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc 2wd http://community.ratsun.net/topic/71766-one-wasnt-enough/

My channel https://www.youtube....KfpiwEzpECyevzw

 

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#10 MikeRL411

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:02 PM

If a smog required vehicle, remember, in California the seller has to provide the required smog test certificate.  Don't pass up on this by law requirement!



#11 wayno

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:20 PM

I would not buy anything that requires a smog test in California or anywhere else for that matter.


 

 


#12 racerx

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:24 PM

/\..yep.

#13 datzenmike

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:31 PM

Hello, I've always wanted a 620 since i've seen my friend's 720 back in the early 2000s. I finally feel like I should get one, but have very little experience in building cars.

Yes, a pre '74 will not require a smog check but you don't get as much either. Smaller engine, lots of dodgy mods to the engines because there are no emissions testings to worry about, a poorer transmission, king pins, poorer distributor etc.... and not to mention they are an older model. A later '78/'79 that has passed smog (also more valuable because of this) will continue to pass smog in the future with little effort on your part because it will be complete.   

 

 

I would not buy anything that requires a smog test in California or anywhere else for that matter.

 

..and I would never buy anything that has king pins in it.


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#14 guhibo

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:01 PM

wow. you guys have responded with a lot of info! this is all amazing.

 

I'm definitely looking at anything with l20b since those seem to come with 5-speed MT. I'm definitely going to make sure it's going to pass smog!

 

Anybody in the LA area want to show me their truck and talk "shop"? I'll buy you lunch! Or beer. whatever floats your boat!

 

Otherwise, I'm going to continue to do more research and see if there are any White l20b 620s out there with minimum rust and lots of love from the previous owner.

 

Hey @datzenmike, any reason why 78/79 are the years you keep mentioning? Also, I read somewhere that the early 70s and late 70s have slightly different bodies/?



#15 Draker

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:05 PM

wow. you guys have responded with a lot of info! this is all amazing.
 
I'm definitely looking at anything with l20b since those seem to come with 5-speed MT. I'm definitely going to make sure it's going to pass smog!
 
Anybody in the LA area want to show me their truck and talk "shop"? I'll buy you lunch! Or beer. whatever floats your boat!
 
Otherwise, I'm going to continue to do more research and see if there are any White l20b 620s out there with minimum rust and lots of love from the previous owner.
 
Hey @datzenmike, any reason why 78/79 are the years you keep mentioning? Also, I read somewhere that the early 70s and late 70s have slightly different bodies/?


Front disk brakes and ball joints. Optional king cab too.
View my 69 510 4dr Sedan - Build Thread
View my 72 1200 Sedan - Build Thread
View my 71 510 2dr Sedan - Coming soon.. ish

http://drakers.pl510.info

#16 wayno

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:19 PM

Yes, a pre '74 will not require a smog check but you don't get as much either. Smaller engine, lots of dodgy mods to the engines because there are no emissions testings to worry about, a poorer transmission, king pins, poorer distributor etc.... and not to mention they are an older model. A later '78/'79 that has passed smog (also more valuable because of this) will continue to pass smog in the future with little effort on your part because it will be complete.   

 

 

 

..and I would never buy anything that has king pins in it.

 

I can get rid of kingpin front ends, but I cannot get rid of smog laws.


 

 


#17 guhibo

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 11:09 PM

Also, should the color be a priority, or is that an easy job?



#18 mikec4193

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 05:04 AM

I acquired our one owner '78 Longbed (believed to be 150K miles and it has all the good stuff that mike listed and 5-speed trany)  five years ago with a bent valve. Replaced the valves and all the small ancillaries on the engine and it is pure sex to drive around town. Kinda like darting around in your favorite pair of britches.

 

That L-Series engine is an amazing little machine.

I have never heard of driving a Datsun truck around town as pure sex....very cool saying right there...thanks difrangia for  posting this...

 

MikeC


...it is pure sex to drive around town. Kinda like darting around in your favorite pair of britches... (thanks difrangia)


#19 datzenmike

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 05:37 AM

I'm definitely looking at anything with l20b since those seem to come with 5-speed MT. I'm definitely going to make sure it's going to pass smog!


The 5 speed was only an option on the '77-'79 620 truck, they won't all have it. 
 
 

Hey @datzenmike, any reason why 78/79 are the years you keep mentioning? Also, I read somewhere that the early 70s and late 70s have slightly different bodies/?




Try to get the most complete example of the 620 you dream of. Even if you have to save up and wait for it. Buying one that doesn't run and needs work is very disappointing. I would suggest a '78 or '79 as these had ball joint steering, disc brakes, internally regulated alternators and electronic ignition. Being in California be sure it has and will pass any future smog testing before buying it. May vehicles are missing equipment that has to be found and replaced.

 

The previous model truck the PL521 '70-'72 was much different looking than the 620. It ended production in early '72 or just over half way into the '72 model year.
 

The 620 was built from around April '72 through July '79. In model years this would be '73-'79. There were no '72 620s as such, and half year models move into the next year. All 620s looked the same body wise. Hoods fenders doors all swapped. All reg cabs were the same and king cabs were the same as were long boxes and short boxes. Minor things like the gas tank was moved to and mounted on the '78-'79 frame rather than the underside of the box, radio antenna on the left side on the '79.... things like that.


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#20 Crashtd420

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 05:44 AM

I have never heard of driving a Datsun truck around town as pure sex....very cool saying right there...thanks difrangia for posting this...

MikeC


If you havent bought one by the time i get my 521 on the road I'll have to take a ride out and visit .... I'll let you take it for a drive and you'll get it...